Spurs' Tim Duncan Passes Shaquille O'Neal for 5th in Career Playoff Free Throws

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Spurs' Tim Duncan Passes Shaquille O'Neal for 5th in Career Playoff Free Throws
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

With his four free throws in Sunday evening's Game 2 of the NBA Finals, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan moved into fifth place on the NBA's all-time made free-throws list for the playoffs, per Basketball-Reference. Duncan now has 1,171 successful free throws, putting him three ahead of four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal (1,168).

Duncan made his first freebie of the evening early in the first quarter on the back end of an old fashioned three-point play, when Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh fouled the former Wake Forest star on his way up to the basket. Duncan then played the balance of a very physical first half without another free-throw attempt, as the teams went to the locker room tied at 43 apiece.

With just under nine minutes left in the third quarter, Heat forward LeBron James fouled Duncan while the Spurs' big man was going up for a shot down low in the paint. Duncan hit the first free throw to break his tie with O'Neal but then missed the second attempt. He ultimately finished the night with just four made free throws in eight attempts, highlighted by consecutive misses late in the fourth quarter, as the Spurs fell at home by a score of 98-96.

Despite his rough night Sunday, Duncan has been far more efficient at the charity stripe than the retired O'Neal. Duncan needed only 1,690 free-throw opportunities to move past O’Neal, connecting on 69 percent of his attempts, while Shaq made good on only 50.4 percent, needing 2,317 tries to reach his total.

Sitting in fifth place on the all-time list, Duncan sits behind Jerry West (1,213), Karl Malone (1,269), Kobe Bryant (1,320) and Michael Jordan (1,463).

The 2,317 free-throw attempts by O'Neal lead by a wide margin over all others in the history of the NBA playoffs. Duncan is fourth on that list (1,695) and counting, with Karl Malone (1,725) third and Michael Jordan (1,766) a distant second to O'Neal.

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